Hikes

Hikes

Galerie Défago

Suitable for hikers of all abilities, this walk consists of a path hewn into the rock and offers commanding views over Champéry.

Take a natural path hewn into the heart of the rock, where the word “GALERIE” (“GALLERY”) can be seen in block capitals above you. Located on the large cliff face opposite the village of Champéry, on the other side of the Vièze river, this inscription marks the start of one of the most beautiful walks in the area. Spanning over 600 metres, this path follows a natural ledge, home to a wide variety of plants. The views open up more and more the further along the path you go. At the end of the path, you’ll be rewarded by a magnificent panorama of the village of Champéry. Take the time to admire the valley in its entirety and spot the bell tower of Illiez and the village of Troistorrents.

Turn-by-turn directions

The hike starts at Champéry station. From here, the path crosses the Vièze river and climbs to one of the region’s most significant attractions – a path hewn into the cliff faces above the village. Emmanuel Défago, a local businessman, opened this gallery in 1864. The path mainly follows a natural ledge along the cliff face. At certain spots, the workers had to dig into the rock to create a continuous path. One century later, this passage has been extended to 600 metres in length, opening up spectacular views over Champéry and the valley below. At the end of the gallery, the route continues towards Val-d’Illiez, passing through Les Rives. At Les Esserts, you will start your descent to the bottom of the valley, before climbing back up to the village of Val-d’Illiez, passing by the former sawmill.

Start: Champéry (train station) (1033 m)
Destination: Val d’Illiez (train station) (946 m)

Author's recommendation

Conquer a series of eight zip wires, one of which is 180 metres in length, in the treetop adventure park Accrobranche du Dahu.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    1237 m 870 m

  • Ascent

    454 m

  • Descent

    560 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 2.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 2.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 4 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

From Geneva or Brig, take the Simplon line to Aigle. Change for the regional train (AOMC) to Champéry.

Approach

Motorway A9 exit 18 (St-Triphon), then follow the direction of the Portes du Soleil via Collombey, Troistorrents, Val-d'Illiez and finally Champéry.

Parking

Large car park at the Champéry train station.

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download) 

 

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

Safety information

Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.

 

For all hikes:

  • Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
  • Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
  • Do not leave any waste in nature.

 

For mountain hikes:

  • Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
  • Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.  

 

For high-altitude hikes:

  • Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.

Additional information

Further information:

Literature

The tourist office in Champéry provides you with hiking brochures of the region.

Maps

SwissTopoMaps 1:25'000: 1304 Val d’Illiez